Monday September 23, 2019
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Nadia district in West Bengal bags UN Award for improving sanitation

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United Nations: A project in West Bengal’s Nadia district for improving heath by providing sanitary toilets and promoting their use has won a first place UN award for innovative public services.

Announcing the award to the Sabar Shouchagar — “Toilets for All” — project, the UN department administering the awards said on Monday that it “is a unique model developed to generate awareness, improve access to sanitary toilets, and bring substantial health improvement through improved sanitation”.

The project increased awareness and brought about behavioural changes leading to more use of the constructed toilets, it added.

The award from the Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) is to be given in Medellin, Colombia, on Thursday at a UN Public Service Forum.

“The awards highlight many innovations that help to provide better services to citizens everywhere in the world and improve people’s lives,” said Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

“It provides an international platform to showcase some of the best examples of effective public governance.” (IANS)

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World Leaders Gathering in New York for United Nations Summit on Climate Change

U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among those attending the summit

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In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani reviews an honor guard at the Mehrabad airport while leaving Tehran, Iran, for New York to attend UN General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. VOA

World leaders are gathering Monday in New York for a United Nations summit on climate change as scientists warn much more ambitious action must be taken to meet targets to mitigate the effects.

Some 60 presidents and prime ministers are due to address the day-long event on topics including shifting away from coal toward renewable energy sources, preventing and responding to disasters, and climate finance.

U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among those attending the summit.  He is spending Monday attending a meeting about the persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians, before holding separate talks with leaders from Pakistan, Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, Egypt and South Korea.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has sought to highlight the importance of the climate summit and challenged leaders to “come with concrete plans” and not just “beautiful speeches.”

World, Leaders, New York, United Nations
Some 60 presidents and prime ministers are due to address the day-long event on topics including shifting away from coal toward renewable energy sources. Pixabay

Ahead of Monday’s event, the U.N. released a report compiled by the World Meteorological Organization showing there has been an acceleration in carbon pollution, sea-level rise, warming global temperatures, and shrinking ice sheets.

The report says the average global temperature for the period of 2015 through the end of 2019 is on pace to be the “warmest of any equivalent period on record” at 1.1 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which has been ratified by 186 nations, calls for actions to prevent global temperatures from surpassing 2 degrees, and ideally remain within 1.5 degrees by cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  One of the world’s biggest emitters – the United States – announced under President Trump that it would leave the pact. The U.S. decision has not stopped climate action at the state, local and private sector levels.

The report warns that in order to achieve the 2 degree target, “the level of ambition needs to be tripled.”

Also Read- Malawi Trying to Find Ways to Contain Overfishing in Its Largest Body of Water, Lake Malawi

Other global issues such as tensions between the United States and Iran; conflicts in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and Kashmir; rising in equality and intolerance all figure to be themes as the U.N. General Assembly session begins Tuesday. (VOA)